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Feeling like a failure

Coping with other people telling you they are pregnant
November 1, 2016
Infertility – the heartbreak of waiting
March 2, 2017

One of the things I really struggled with when trying to conceive was feeling like a failure – I’ve always tried so hard to do my best at things and achieve what I set out to do, but however hard I tried, I couldn’t get pregnant.

Being a Mummy was the one thing I always knew I wanted to be, and I just assumed that at some point it would happen.

When we first started trying for a baby I was so excited and assumed it would happen quickly. My period was late that first month and I was convinced that I was pregnant, unfortunately it was just a coincidence that it was late that month. I felt really deflated about it.

Cue another 5 years of getting my period every month, each one bringing with it stronger feelings of despair. Each month I would hope that this was it, only to be hit by the same upset when it came. I guess it was a feeling of grief for a life I wanted but couldn’t get.

As if we are not hard enough on ourselves about our struggle to conceive, but it seems like everyone else has an opinion that they feel they should share – helpful or other wise, but actually the comments can be quite hurtful. Over the years we were trying I received lots of comments, some of them quite upsetting.

Some things you may have been told;

  • ‘Just relax, it will happen’ – oh that’s helpful!
  • ‘It will happen when you stop trying’ – surely if I stop trying it is not going to happen.
  • ‘Stop thinking about it’ – ok, I’ll stop thinking about the thing that has taken over my life, is the most important thing I want to do in my life and that I spend every day being poked and prodded at hospital to try to achieve.
  • One particularly helpful person said to me ‘Its god’s way of saying you’re not supposed to have a baby’ after I’d told her that my first round of IVF had failed.
  • I got pregnant as soon as we started trying/I got pregnant while I was on the pill’
  • Talking about their baby/pregnancy negatively with you (knowing what you are going through)

It is really important to remember that you are NOT a failure because you are struggling to conceive, there are so many factors that contribute to an inability to conceive and none of them are your fault.

A few things that may help you if you are feeling like this:

  • Create a ‘Thankful list’ - Think of 3 things every day that you are thankful for – make a note of these and refer back to them when you are having a bad day or negative thoughts.
  • Recognise and celebrate your achievement - ‘What I’ve got going for me’ journal
     - Make a list of your positive qualities
     - Include in the list your past successes
     - List your top 3 most fulfilling accomplishments in life so far
    - List the biggest thing that you have overcome in order to be successful
  • Take time out to do something you enjoy - Allow yourself some time to do something that will relax you, take your mind off the treatment and re-charge yourself. This may be a hobby, going for a beauty treatment, an exercise class, or something like the cinema.
  • Write a journal - Writing in a journal reduces stress and anxiety and can allow you to vent frustrations and upset. It can also help you uncover strengths and solutions that you may not be able to see on a day to day basis, which will help you with your thankful and achievements list.
  • Join a support group - Attending a support group will show you that you are not alone in thinking you are a failure, others feel that about themselves too. It will show you that your feelings are completely natural. It will also offer you support, understanding and friendship.

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